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Master of Science in Special Education & Applied Disabilities Studies - Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Concentration

Mercyhurst UniversityErie - UNITED STATES USA

Field(s) of study: Behavioral Analysis, CSR - Social Economy, Education
Cost of pre-eligibility application: 
  • Via Mastersbooking: 0 €
  • Via the regular school procedure: 0 €
Course cost: 24 300 €
Possible funding options: 
  • Bank loan
  • Financial assistance or scholarships awarded by the institution
  • Job to support your studies

Next admission round: 

Next recruitment session:

Available slots: 

Available spots: 20
Places available per academic year: 20

Program Language

  • English

Course length: 

  • 2 years (24 months)

Start of the program: 


Level of entry: 

A Level+3 years
A Level+4 years

Studying Special Education & Applied Disability Studies with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis prepares you for a career in human services, specifically those services that help individuals and families deal with developmental disabilities. The program educates you on the theories and best practices of behavior analysis, and prepares you to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination. As more and more children receive developmental disability diagnoses, Mercyhurst will prepare you to help diagnose and treat those who are affected.
Mercyhurst has long been known for expertise in the field of Special Education, and graduates of this master's degree program will be able to:

  • Use applied research to pioneer advances in educational and behavioral services.
  • Write procedures for evidenced-based practices across disability groups and lifespans.
  • Utilize evidenced-based practices and assessments in clinical settings.
  • Write measurable objectives such as those found in an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
  • Discuss the connection between educational assessment and assessment-based instructional decisions.
  • Define ethical conduct in the field of education.

In addition to core coursework focused on behavior management and educational research, students will have the opportunity to explore with 15+ credits of ABA-specific elective coursework dealing with topics such as the history and cultures of disabilities, autism, data-driven decision making, and hands-on/supervised clinical experiences.

Course format: 

On Campus

Qualifications/expertise after completing the program

The Special Education & Applied Disability Studies graduate program provides current and future special education practitioners with the skills and experiences necessary to implement evidence-based practices in the helping professions of teaching, behavior analysis, and disability services. A graduate of Mercyhurst's Special Education & Applied Disability Studies program is prepared to create learning opportunities that allow individuals with educational and behavioral challenges to realize opportunities for self-determination and independence. Alumni are encouraged to be scientist-practitioners who serve the field in three evidence-driven ways: As consumers of applied research in their practice as teachers and clinicians; as producers of applied research or data-driven strategies in both their graduate studies and their professional careers; and to disseminate their clinical or research endeavors through the presentation of resulting data to others in the field.
Clearly these skills are in demand as employers of our program's alumni include several universities, countless school districts, and dozens of human services agencies.

Entry requirements

To be considered for admission into the Hafenmaier College's Special Education & Applied Disability Studies master's degree program, applicants must:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.
  • International students from countries where English is not a native language must submit an official score report from the TOEFL (minimum score of 79) or IELTS (minimum score of 6.5) examination.
  • Complete the appropriate graduate application.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit a current resume.
  • Submit a personal statement discussing both personal and professional goals.
  • Arrange for the submission of three (3) letters of reference.

Admission criteria: 

The Office of Graduate & Continuing Education at Mercyhurst University reviews applications for this program on a rolling basis, meaning we can quickly communicate an admissions decision to you. However, applications are reviewed by an admissions committee ONLY after ALL application materials are received, so submit supplemental items as soon as possible when applying. There is a priority application deadline of March 31. International applicants should submit their application no later than June 1.

Course cost description: 

Based on a full-time Thesis Option Track of 36 credits, the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership - Sports Leadership concentration costs approximately € 12,150  per year of study for a total of €24,300. Graduate assistantships and graduate employment opportunities are available as part of a competitive selection process. Several of these positions are in support of our NCAA Division II athletic teams as either coaches or assistants to the sports information director.


Mrs/Ms Kristen Pepe